THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
A Certified copy of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on December 9, 1948, and Signed on Behalf of the United States on December 11, 1948. [Ratified by the U.S. Senate on November 4, 1989.]
June 16, 1949: --Convention was read the first time and the injunction of secrecy was removed therefrom. The convention, the President's message of transmittal, and the report by the Acting-Secretary of State were referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate.
The White House, June 16, 1949.
To the Senate of the United States:
With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on December 9, 1948, and signed on behalf of the United States on December 11, 1948.
The character of the convention is explained in the enclosed report of the Acting Secretary of State. I endorse the recommendations of the Acting Secretary of State in his report and urge that the Senate advise and consent to my ratification of this convention.
In my letter of February 5, 1947, transmitting to the Congress my first annual report on the activities of the United Nations and the participation of the United States therein, I pointed out that one of the most important achievements of the General Assembly has been the agreement of the members of the United Nations that genocide constitutes a crime under international law. I also emphasized that America has long been a symbol of freedom and democratic progress for peoples less favored than we have been, and that we must maintain their belief in us by our policies and our acts.
In view of the leading part the United States has taken in the United Nations in producing an effective international legal instrument outlawing the world-shocking crime of genocide, we have established to give the world our firm and clear policy toward that crime. By giving its advice and consent to my ratification of this convention, which I urge, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate that the United States is prepared to take effective action on its part to contribute to the establishment of principles of law and justice.
on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide
The Contracting Parties,
Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 26 (f) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under International law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world;
Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and
Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required,
Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under International law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The following acts shall be punishable:
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory in which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.
Genocide and the other acts enumerated in article III shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.
The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.
The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.
The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly.
The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
After 1 January 1950 the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid.
Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the application of the present Convention to all or any territories for the conduct of whose relations that Contracting Party is responsible.
On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a procès-verbal and transmit a copy thereof to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.
The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.
The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten years from the date of its coming into force.
It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months before the expiration of the current period.
Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective.
A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General.
The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in article XI of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with article XI.
(b) Notifications received in accordance with article XII;
(c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with Article XII;
(d) Denunciations received in accordance with article XIV;
(e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with article XV;
(f) Notifications received in accordance with article XVI.
The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.
The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.
Herbert Evatt December 11, 1948
For the Kingdom of Belgium:
Adolfo Costa du Rels 11 Dec. 1948
Joao Carlos Muniz 11 December 1948
For the Union of Burma:
For the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic:
Con la reserva que require tambien la aprobacion del Congreso de mi pais.
H. Aranciba Lazo
For Costa Rica:
J.E. Balaguer 11 Dec 1948
Homero Viteri Lafronte 11 Diciembre de 1948
Armed Moh. Khachaba 12-12-48
For El Salvador:
Aklilou 11 December 1948
Robert Shumman 11 Dec 1948
Castel Demesmin Le 11 Deciembre 1948
Henry Cooper 11/12/48
For the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg:
Luis Padilla Nervo Dec. 14, 1948
For the Kingdom of the Netherlands:
For New Zealand:
Kingdom of Norway:
Finn Moe Le 11 Decembere 1948
Zafrulla Khan Dec. 11, '48
Carlos A. Vasconsellos Diciembre 11, 1948
F. Berckemeyer Diciembere 11/1948
For the Philippine Republic:
Carlos P. Romulo December 11, 1948
For Saudi Arabia:
For the Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic:
For the Union of South Africa:
For the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics:
For the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
United States of America:
Ernest A. Gross Dec. 11, 1948
Enrique C. Armond Ugon December 11 de 1948
Ales Bebler 11 Dec. 1948
For the Secretary-General: Kerno
Assistant Secretary-General in charge of the Legal Department